Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 18, 2010 7:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Head Count

Occasionally I come across people who like the Dead, meaning they don't mind listening to a show, might even have some old tapes. Casual fans, in my book....but then, to me, almost all Dead fans look like casual passersby! But that's the way most people are with music they like - hunting to find rarities, fanatical completism & the obsessive collecting bug aren't universal (I remind myself...)

As far as general popularity, according to one source the Dead have sold 15 million albums since '91....about the same number as Hendrix. Of course, with the Dead, you have to split that between a LOT of albums....but that's still plenty of casual fans, they're not too rare.
Folks here on the Archive are a minority of the minority. The most popular shows here have about 600,000 'downloads'....which is about 0.2% of the US population, to make one comparison. (Glancing at youtube, there are a couple popular Dead songs with over a million views, but after that the view-count drops precipitously from about 700,000...that's all the people who want to watch a 1969 St Stephen!)
And the few souls who are actually interested enough to follow a discussion on a Dead message forum...well, we're statistically negligible!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Sep 18, 2010 7:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Head Count

Yes--statistically speaking, we don't exist.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: AltheaRose Date: Sep 19, 2010 9:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Head Count

True. And yet the archive has a whole section devoted to the Dead. Sirius has a Dead channel (and it manages to survive even though I, for one, never had Sirius.) The Facebook "friends" ... well, I haven't friended them, so make that, what, 500,001?

Given that Jerry has been gone for 15 years now, it's truly amazing that the Dead bus keeps on rattling along and even drawing new folks to hop on board. If only a small percentage are "rabid fans" ... well, how many rabid fans/tourheads etc were there ever, really? A lot compared to other bands, sure. But not a lot compared to the numbers at the shows. I expect that percentage still more or less holds.

As for the population at large ... seriously, I never remember the Dead being really "hip." C'mon! Not even in the Touchhead, mega-Dead era. It was just big compared to what came before. It looked like a lot to US. But really, Deadheads were always just a microscopic minority, and unless you were really into tie dye, a rather un-hip minority at that :-) So, the more things change, the more they remain the same ...